Strange Factoid on the F-35 Jet Fighter

W.J. Astore

Would you buy a new car if its longevity was 40% of your old one?

When I was still in the Air Force, the F-35 was on the drawing boards as a fairly low cost, multi-role, fighter-bomber somewhat akin to an F-150 pickup truck. Being designed and built by Lockheed Martin and also having to meet the varying requirements of the U.S. Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps, cost and complexity quickly escalated, so much so that an AF Chief of Staff recently compared it to a Ferrari rather than to a trusty and capable pickup truck.

That Ferrari comparison is apt with respect to cost, though even Ferraris may be more durable and reliable than the F-35.

How so? A friend sent along an article on the F-15EX Eagle II fighter.

F-15EX Eagle II. Not stealthy, but its lasts 2.5 times as long as the F-35

Now, I’ve been reading about the F-15 since I was a teenager in the 1970s. It’s a proven fighter jet but it lacks the stealthy characteristics of the F-35. But here’s the section that got my attention from the article:

Remember, the F-15EX has a 20,000-hour airframe life. The F-35A has an 8,000-hour airframe life. This is one way the F-15EX gets done dirty when people make comparisons between it and the F-35, often based on unit cost alone, which is about equal. We are talking about two-and-a-half times the airframe hours out of the box with the F-15EX. That is not a knock against the F-35A at all. The F-15EX is just a very mature aircraft that has been optimized for longevity over a much younger one.

I like the way the author tries to explain away the short airframe life of the F-35. Hey, it’s a young aircraft! What can you expect except a 60% drop in longevity?

How many of us would buy a car, a truck, or any other technology if we were told the new tech would last only 40% as long as roughly comparable older tech? Would Apple advertise a new iPhone battery as lasting only four hours when the previous version lasted ten hours? How many people would rush out to buy the “new and improved” iPhone in this case?

The F-35 has many issues, which I’ve written about here and here. Add a much quicker expiration date to the mix.

I’m assuming Ferrari is none too happy with its cars being compared to the F-35!

3 thoughts on “Strange Factoid on the F-35 Jet Fighter

  1. It appears Col. Douglas Macgregor redesigned his YouTube Channel. Now it’s just ‘Douglas Macgragor Straight Calls’
    I think he’s established himself making the straight calls in Truth and Realism.

    On Truth and Realism, this comment posted in The Washington Post yesterday is still there or I wouldn’t have this copy to post here;

    Opinion | In the U.S.-China competition, the real ‘existential’ danger is nuclear war
    Can a U.S. president refuse to launch in the 30 minutes between missile launch from China and impact in the U.S.?”

    “That’s the question the US should be asking itself over Ukraine when BOTH sides view the WAR as an EXISTENTIAL THREAT?

    The US was so disturbed and upset by the prospect of Russian missiles in Cuba, in the whole Timeline and process of that 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, the US was the 1st to actually start with an Act of WAR that potentially could lead to WWIII/Armageddon, with the ILLEGAL WAR Blockade of the Island of Cuba in violation of the very same International Law Putin is demonized for.

    In 1962 President Kennedy was being encouraged by the Dr. Strangeloves in the 1962 Pentagon to just make a surprise US 1st Strike and bomb Cuba and destroy both Cubans and Russians.

    The 2023 Pentagon appears to have no Generals, except for the anonymous leaks, who are Realists and not afraid to speak up about those REALITIES for FEAR of losing their Jobs and Positions. It happens in the US as it does in Russia – the very same thing! A Culture of FORCED SILENCE!
    A General who dared to speak the TRUTH Publicly, would lose his/her chance of making the BIG RETIREMENT $bucks of ever working with a US ARMS MERCHANT.

    As a Sovereign Nation, Cuba had every Right under International Law as embodied in The United Nations Charter since WWII, to ask Russia to deploy it’s missiles in Cuba as a DETERRENT to the US from attempting another 1961 failed Bay of Pigs invasion.
    IT was the US ready for WWII/Armageddon THEN as it is TODAY!

    It was the US that abrogated the 1972 TREATY signed with the Soviet Russians banning ANTI-MISSILE MISSILES just so the US could deploy them, now in NATO Poland and Roumania and aimed at Russia.
    That US Aggressive action gave Russia/Putin only 7 minutes of an inbound missile Warning, to know if it’s a false alarm or real.

    The US WAR with Russia over Ukraine in NATO so the US could have missiles right on Russia’s border is an EXISTENTIAL THREAT!”

    These 2 videos appeared within the last 30 hours, so the Col. is up to date with what’s current.


  2. The latest from TomDispatch:

    Will the West Turn Ukraine into a Nuclear Battlefield?
    Why Depleted Uranium Should Have No Place There
    By Joshua Frank

    It’s sure to be a blood-soaked spring in Ukraine. Russia’s winter offensive fell far short of Vladimir Putin’s objectives, leaving little doubt that the West’s conveyor belt of weaponry has aided Ukraine’s defenses. Cease-fire negotiations have never truly begun, while NATO has only strengthened its forces thanks to Finland’s new membership (with Sweden soon likely to follow). Still, tens of thousands of people have perished; whole villages, even cities, have been reduced to rubble; millions of Ukrainians have poured into Poland and elsewhere; while Russia’s brutish invasion rages on with no end in sight.

    The hope, according to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, is that the Western allies will continue to furnish money, tanks, missiles, and everything else his battered country needs to fend off Putin’s forces. The war will be won, according to Zelensky, not through backroom compromises but on the battlefield with guns and ammo.

    “I appeal to you and the world with these most simple and yet important words,” he said to a joint session of Great Britain’s parliament in February. “Combat aircraft for Ukraine, wings for freedom.”………………..



    She concludes:

    As Julian Assange once said, “The overwhelming majority of information is classified to protect political security, not national security.”

    People shouldn’t be punished for revealing the secrets of the government, governments should be punished for keeping secrets from the people.

    It shouldn’t be illegal to expose the abuses and deceptions of your government, it should be illegal for your government to abuse and deceive.

    The government says it needs secrecy in order to win wars and protect freedom. History says the government needs secrecy in order to start wars and restrict freedom.

    The amount of power you have should be inversely proportional to the amount of secrecy you’re allowed. Those with the most power should be a completely open book who aren’t permitted to hide anything from anyone, while those with the least power should have complete unimpeded privacy. Instead it’s the exact opposite: ordinary powerless people are getting more and more surveilled, while governments get more and more secretive and unaccountable.

    Full article at

    Liked by 1 person

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